With all the information out there about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, why wouldn’t I go vegan?
It’s a well known fact that African Americans experience the highest rates of preventable, diet-related chronic illnesses in the U.S. So as a Black woman, I knew I couldn’t keep doing that same things and expecting to not be in that number. Figuring out how to nourish my body in a way that brought to it healing was paramount.
Hypertension and diabetes are all too common in my household. So something had to give.
I set my intention December 2016 to be plant-based at some point in the near future. But honestly, I didn’t take major action toward that end until late the following year.
Something happened while I was preparing a hen for dinner one evening, and I would never be the same. While I was seasoning the bird, seeing the arms, the neck and the legs in front of me...I swelled up with emotion. For the first time I felt as if I was responsible. I felt as if I’d killed this bird with my own hands.
I tried for a few weeks thereafter to cut meat out. But soon, my overall mindset changed. I was no longer accepting that consuming animals on a daily basis was the norm. I mean, think about it, how can we expect to eat dead things and continue to have a living and thriving body? It just didn’t make sense.
Since my transition, I’ve learned so much about the negative impact that meat production is having on our environment—that is, being the largest contributor to climate change. And frankly, it’s unacceptable. I know without a doubt that we all must be a part of this change if we want to keep living on this planet.
As a Black vegan, I’ve taken responsibility not only for fighting for the rights of animals, but for the protection and ethical treatment of all beings. And I invite my non-Black vegans to do the same. If all lives matter, then fight for all lives equally—even more so for those whose lives are taken frivolously and negatively impacted by systemic injustices. Fight for those whose voices and rights are suppressed.